“Physicians are useless after age 60 and as such should retire to a college for a year and then be euthanized with chloroform.”

– Sir William Osler. Taken from his retirement address at Johns Hopkins University in 1905. He was age 55 years at the time.

The decisions surrounding the transition from active clinical practice to retirement are among the most consequential in an anesthesiologist’s life – equal in magnitude to those taken at the beginning of medical training and practice. Regrettably, few physicians provide the former decision as much attention as they do to the latter. When and how one retires from the practice of medicine in the United States is a determination that is, in large part, at the discretion of the individual physician. In contrast to many other industries that impact public safety, such as aviation,...

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